Quebec is full of exceptional singers and musicians. Here in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, we’re blessed with some of the most talented among them. Whatever your preferred musical style, you’ll definitely find something you like in the great repertoire of music in this area. We wanted to introduce—or reintroduce—a few of the region’s artists. The list could have been a lot longer, but, for starters, here are 10 musical artists from Abitibi-Témiscamingue to add to your playlist.
Zach Zoya comes from Rouyn-Noranda and is now an established rapper in Montréal. At the tender young age of 21, he’d already earned the moniker ‘Quebec’s Drake’. Perhaps you saw him performing in Val d’Or and Rouyn-Noranda last year at the FRIMAT and FME music festivals? Increasingly making a name for himself in the province, this young artist now has quite a few songs to his credit, including a mini-album with rapper High Klassified. His tunes have hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube.
Tip: Check out Who Dat
Alexandre Picard, Jean-Sébastien Trudel, Christian Frenette, and Michael Neault formed the musical group Lubik in 2010. The rock band has made frequent appearances these past few years, at the Osisko en Lumières (2016) and FRIMAT (2017) music festivals to name a couple. Lubik’s made a name for themselves in Quebec. They were featured on Belle et Bum (Quebec TV show) and received three awards at the Dédé Fortin festival in 2014. Originally from La Sarre, the four band members flaunt their Abitibi pride, as evidenced in their piece Abitibi Power.
Tip: Have a listen to Laisse-toé aller
Vertige is a four-member reggae-pop-alternative-type band. Originally from Rouyn-Noranda, Marc-Olivier Gratton, Guillaume Laroche, Olivier Migneault and Shawnee Jacques-Godard came together as a group about five years ago. They’re known for their punchy stage performances and love getting audiences up and moving. They performed at FRIMAT in 2017 and their latest album, Renaître, came out in March 2019.
Tip: Check out Jeunes et cons
Founded in 2015, the Saratoga duo is made up of Val d’Or native Chantal Archambault and her partner Michel-Olivier Gasse. Chantal is a songwriter, composer and performer who started a solo career a few years before Saratoga was formed. In 2011, she was nominated for an ADISQ award. Now, her full-time commitment is to Saratoga, a folk music duo that has produced an EP as well as a full-length album.
Tip : Have a listen to On est pas du monde
Big winners at FRIMAT in 2014, Nanochrome is an Indie rock group made up of five members, Alex Poirier-Lemoine, Gabriel Poirier-Lemoine, François Lachapelle, Fred Plante and Michaël Neault. Their album L’exutoire came out in 2015 and, since then, the Val-d’Or natives have performed often at festivals in the area, such as Osisko en Lumières in 2016. They even performed in Montréal for the first time in 2017.
Tip: Check out Entre-temps
Phil Moreau is a songwriter, composer and performer from Rouyn Noranda. His career began around 2010, with the recording of his first demo. He subsequently performed in a number of festivals, including FRIMAT, where he won the Télé-Québec award for his lyrics in 2011 and where he also performed in 2018. In 2017, he put out the mini album Gros temps, with five folk-rock songs.
Tip: Have a listen to La mauvaise herbe ne meurt jamais
Only 20 years old, Laurence Doire is a country singer from Beaucanton. Based out of Montréal, this young woman produced her first album Soirée du Nord in October 2018, which included six songs in French. Since 2015, she’s been lead singer with the five-piece Laurence Doire country band. She now performs at a lot of parties and events.
Tip: Check out Ek’ mon skidoo
Originally from Ville-Marie in Témiscamingue, Cleõphüzz is a psychedelic rock band whose work is infused with desert themes. Alex Sabourin, Joseph Grenier, Joé Poitras, Xavier Nadeau Ouellet and Caroline Rondeau make up the group. They performed last year at FRIMAT, and put out an EP called Wizard of Phuzz in 2018. On March 20 this year, their new piece, Desperados, was picked up by Spotify.
Tip: Have a listen to Sandstorm
Adam Brousseau is a young musician from La Sarre, now living in Drummondville. Although he’s just 18 years old, he put out his first album called Paradox in 2018. He opened for the Dead Obies last year at FRIMAT and all indications are that a bright musical future lies ahead. Brousseau is a singer, songwriter, composer and guitarist; his music style can best be described as progressive, psychedelic rock.
Tip: Check out Incognito
Originally from Rouyn-Noranda, Louis-Philippe Gingras is now based out of Montréal, and has performed throughout the province of Quebec. After studying jazz at university, he put out two full-length albums in 2013 and 2016, as well as numerous other singles. While being poetic, his songs are melodious, lively, and humorous.
Tip: Have a listen to Parc à chiens
Le groupe Nanochrome au FRIMAT en 2014, photo de Marie-Claude Robert
La fabrique culturelle
Laurence Doire Country Band (site officiel)
Saratoga (site officiel)
Louis-Philippe Gingras (site officiel)